It’s incredible how much change our planet has endured over the millions of years it’s existed. Er, scratch that, billions of years! That’s right. Planet Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years old. That’s really, really old, right?
Older still is our Universe. 13.77 billion years old is the estimate of scientists. Dig any deeper than that and, if you’re like me, you start to feel your inner axis wobbling in a discombobulated manner. Not sure what I mean? Think about it for a second – what existed before existence? If you don’t feel weird and unhinged thinking about that then I question your sanity. (With all due respect, of course.)
I never was much of a science whiz. Fascinated with science, yes. Especially astronomy and quantum physics. But, when it came to pulling through an actual science class in high school or college, my overachieving spirit was shamed many a times. I passed, thank goodness! But, barely. Nonetheless, I’m a science nerd in the glued-to-science-TV sense, and what did that asshole-astronomy-professor-who-used-to-stare-at-my-friend’s-breasts know anyway?
See it to believe it
When it comes to understanding complex subjects, most of us need to look a little closer to home. My own home-state of Nevada has a very fascinating history and the scars to prove it… scars that you can see for yourself.
The photo at the top of this post was taken at one of the rock art sites near Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, near Alamo, Nevada. I wish I could give you a thorough explanation as to what caused the cracks in the ground. But, sorry, I don’t remember. I visited that site over three years ago, when I was only just beginning to get swept away in my passion for photography. A time when everything was whimsical and new, and I was so mesmerized by the beauty that was unveiling itself to me. As a result, I was more impulsive and less intent on mentally recording the details. I can assure you that moving forward I will take note of such things so that I can write a blog post with more substance, instead of fluff about the “asshole-astronomy-professor-who-used-to-stare-at-my-friend’s-breasts.”
Anyway, back to the picture. What I do recall is that the cracks had something to do with the severe dry climate of Southern Nevada. Okay, I’m lying. I don’t remember that; I’m GUESSING that. I mean it’s kind of a safe and, let’s be honest, obvious assessment. (Would anyone like to challenge me? Go right ahead…)
What’s so interesting is that what is now one of the driest places in the world was once one of the wettest. That’s right, much of Nevada was covered by water during the age of the dinosaurs – albeit shallow, but still. Nevada is such a fascinating place!
Mother Nature is your classroom
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that the beauty of the world is out there, just waiting to be explored. And, any classroom textbook won’t do it justice. To understand science, you need to see it first-hand. Most of us aren’t going to fully grasp something unless we can relate to it in some way. This photograph is a bad example because I don’t remember the science behind the striking features. But, I’m on my lunch break and do not have access to my huge library of more recent photographs, such as the one from my Hawaiian vacation last year, where I watched the Earth being made by Kilauea… (That photo I think would be a MUCH better example).
I have not met a single person who is not fascinated with science. Not one person has ever told me, “Stars are stupid.” Or, “Who cares how old the planet is!” I think there’s a universal love for the, well, universe – and science in general. And, unfortunately, it’s a subject that intimidates people because the ones communicating about it aren’t very good at communicating.
But, you know who is good at communicating? Mother Nature! And, our amazing national and state parks that are sprinkled in abundance across the country. So, why don’t you go check one out today!
And, if you live in Southern Nevada, I implore you to visit one of these gems:
- Valley of Fire State Park
- Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (If you stop by here, come and say “Hello.” I volunteer once a month.)
- Red Rock National Conservation Area
- Mount Charleston & Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
- Wetlands Park
- Desert National Wildlife Refuge
- Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
Check out this blog post for my top three day-trips from Las Vegas.
Gina Mizzoni is a Las Vegas native and lover of the mountains, valleys and sunsets of Nevada. Her deep interest in Nevada history and passion for the great outdoors inspired a hobby and evolving career in landscape photography. Gina Mizzoni Photography, her company, specializes in custom lifestyle photography services for families, couples and individuals in the Las Vegas and Southern Nevada area. In addition to this, Gina spends much of her time exploring the beauty of Nevada and the surrounding areas, and documents these places through photos and words. Check out her Nevada photographs here.
This photojournalistic approach extends beyond just the Southwest region of the U.S. Gina documents the flavor of the places wherever she goes, sharing her unique perspective with the world. Gina believes that each one of us has our own individual eye and perspective of the world; and, therefore, we are all photographers. She hopes to inspire you to get out and explore, and capture your world as you see it.